Capital Challenge Horse Show Welcomes the Country's Best
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Posted by Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Highlights of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will include the World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Developing Pro Challenge (Oct. 2), Future Hunter North American Championship (Oct. 2), the North American Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge Cup (two rounds held on Oct. 4-5), the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals (Oct. 4), and the WCHR Professional Finals (Oct. 4).
When show managers Oliver Kennedy and Billy Glass started CCHS, they wanted to become a premier show on the indoor circuit, and they had some fantastic ideas to draw in the competitors. In addition to the regular line-up of hunter/jumper classes, the show began adding new equitation finals, exciting new hunter championships, and new divisions for the exhibit of young horses.
The Future Hunters are a big draw at Capital Challenge. Their division classes are held today and tomorrow, while the $20,000 Added Future Hunter North American Championship, sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Wheeler, Kocher Tack, Corrine Bevis/San Marcos Training, and Makoto Farm, Inc., is on Wednesday. While Pre-Green classes were offered in the early years of the Capital Challenge, the popular Future Hunter divisions started in 2001.
“I would say, and I think Billy will agree, that has probably turned into the best hunter class at our horse show,” Kennedy stated. “To watch these young horses that have never shown indoors, they walk in there and it is an amazing class. Gray Slipper came out of that, Dream Date, Popeye K, Bacardi, Sambalino, all of the great hunters out there that go on to dominate the next year in the First Year Greens or the Green Conformation, they all do well in that division. It is kind of like the 'Star Search' for what is happening next year. That is probably one of the most fun classes to sit and watch at the horse show because you really see some spectacular horses.”
In addition to adding classes for the emerging young horses, Kennedy and Glass also came up with the idea to host a class for the up-and-coming professional riders. What is now the $5,000 WCHR Developing Pro Challenge started out as the Emerging Pro Challenge in 2008 and has seen many top professionals make a name for themselves in the business. The class was first won by Megan Edrick of Ocala, FL, who has since gone on to become a top name in the sport, along with Katherine Newman (2009), Molly Sewell (2010), Tara Metzner (2011), and Melissa Feller (2012).
Manager Billy Glass agreed with Kennedy’s sentiments on the development of both the Future Hunter and Developing Professional classes and their importance to the success of the horse show.
“The Future Hunters are something I have always been really proud of, to have that big dollar class for them,” Glass acknowledged. “In recent years, my favorite program is the Developing Pro Finals. There is nothing like it anywhere else. It is terrific that all these folks have embraced it. Now we have 25-30 people fighting to get in that class.”
“We try to react to the industry's needs,” Glass stated. “It justifies high-level hunter competition and we reward it. We have better prize money and more fanfare. Awards and presentations are real important to us. We keep an open ear to changing times, as demands change. It has been a challenge over the years and I'd like to think we've risen to that challenge and accommodate the hunter community in various ways. The fact that everyone comes to show here tells me we're doing something right.”
The Capital Challenge Horse Show continues tomorrow with more professional hunter classes and championships for the Second Year Green, High Performance, and Performance 3'6” Hunter divisions, plus championships for all of the Future Hunter divisions.
For full results, more information, or to watch the SmartPak live webcast, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org.
About Capital Challenge
In its 20th year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George's Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, this year's show will take place on September 28-October 6.
Top competitions include the ARIAT National Adult Medal Finals and the THIS National Children’s Medal Finals, along with the Capital Challenge Equitation Weekend, presented by Bigeq.com. In addition to these prestigious equitation events, the Capital Challenge Horse Show will once again host the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and will assemble the country's best horses and riders to compete in junior, amateur, and professional hunter classes.
For more information, please visit www.capitalchallenge.org or visit the Capital Challenge Horse Show page on Facebook!